OA Remission?

Question

My father is 83 and suffers from OA that is manifest in many joints but became severe in his knees 5-years ago. In the last year and a half severe pain occurs in his hips and an ankle. Recently he went through a surprising three week period where the severe pain in his hips and ankle was -uniquely in his experience- vastly reduced (while the severe knee pain remained unabaited) There was no change at all in medication, or change in nutritional habits, excercise or daily routine when the hip and ankle pain dimmished -or 3 weeks later returned to its’ previously high pain level. I haven’t read anything about remissions in OA, can that happen? if so are there classical triggers we should look for? (He has also been diagnosed as early stages of Parkinsons) Any assistance is appreciated. Thank you for your time.

Answer

Your/his story is not unusual although flares/remissions occur much less frequently in OA than in RA or other inflammatory types of arthritis. The triggers of the flares and remissions are not known for either type of arthritis. Patients often feel stress, weather, over exercise and diet are factors in the flares.

Alan Matsumoto, M.D.

About Alan Matsumoto, M.D.

Part-time Faculty, Division of Rheumatology
Johns Hopkins University